An estate plan ensures that if you pass away or become disabled, your assets are inherited by the person(s) that you’ve chosen. Your estate plan can also outline chosen guardians to take care of your children (if they are under the age of 18) in the event of a parent’s death or disability.

Without an estate plan, state laws determine who will manage your assets. This means that family members could incur the fees associated with probate court fees, attorney fees and taxes after death in an attempt to maintain your assets.

By designating heirs to your assets through an estate plan, this can all be avoided.

Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Many people don’t realize that once you acquire assets such as a house, bank accounts, investments, vehicles etc. you should have an estate plan. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that life is unpredictable. Having an estate plan will ensure that your assets are left to your loved ones according to your own wishes in the event of your death or disability.

We prioritize planning for events that are important to us such as a vacation or buying a new house. Planning for life if something happens to you should be equally as important. Planning who will inherit your assets after you’re gone allows you to make arrangements for the future wellbeing of your family. Think of estate planning as a way to ensure that you’re able to take care of your family beyond the years that you’re with them.

Remember, estate plans aren’t just limited to very wealthy people. The most important aspect of estate planning is the reassurance that your assets will be properly managed by the heirs you choose rather than being decided in court.

Still wondering if you need an estate plan? Take a look at some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not a plan is right for you. The biggest question being: “Do you want to have a say where your possessions go after you pass away?”

Having a Plan Provides Reassurance

Since it can be an unexpected event, it’s normal to not feel the need to plan or prepare for who receives your assets and personal items if something happens to you. However, your assets are a reflection of your hard work and accomplishments and deciding who receives them when you can no longer enjoy them is not a process that should be intimidating. Rather, it’s a process that will provide you and your loved ones with reassurance and relief in the event that an estate plan needs to be revealed.

The Benefits of Delegating Your Assets

If you’re fortunate enough to live a long life, your assets are often tangible items you can designate to loved ones as ways for them to remember you. Perhaps you had a special watch that your great-grandfather gave to you. Even items like these can be designated to your chosen heir in the event of your passing or disability. Putting some thought into who should receive what might seem like a daunting task. However, the effort that you put into creating a plan is going to eliminate the reality of loved ones having to pay hundreds of dollars trying to gain possession of your assets in court.

Ultimately, assets that are passed over to your heirs act as reminders of your hard work and reflect both your love and commitment to your family.

Where Do I Start with an Estate Plan?

If you’re ready to begin completing your estate plan, you’ll need to find an attorney that prepares Wills and Trusts to start the process. Stephanie Krane-Boehmer is an attorney in Rochester Hills, Michigan. You can book a free consultation to identify which estate plan makes sense for you!